In a recent survey of more than 1,500 San Diego residents aged 21 to 99, researchers report that people in their 20s were the most stressed out and depressed, while those in their 90s were the most content.
There were no dips in well-being in midlife, and no tapering off of well-being at the end of life.
Instead scientists found a clear, linear relationship between age and mental health: The older people were, the happier they felt.
A new study by a research team at the University of East Anglia (UK) highlights the neuroprotective potential of cranberries.
The research team studied the benefits of consuming the equivalent of a cup of cranberries a day among 50 to 80-year-olds.
They hope that their findings could have implications for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
Lead researcher Dr David Vauzour, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said, “Past studies have shown that higher dietary flavonoid intake is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and dementia. And foods rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which give berries their red, blue, or purple colour, have been found to improve cognition.
On May 8th, Jo Schoonbroodt, a 71-year-old from Maastricht, Netherlands, ran a marathon in a breathtaking 2hr 54min 19sec to become the fastest septuagenarian in recorded marathon history. Jo set the new over 70 world record at the Maasmarathon de Visé, on a beautiful cross-border route through the Belgian and Dutch countryside.
“I only started jogging at 36 because my doctor told me I had high cholesterol,” he says, chuckling. “But last year I ran 7,242 kilometres [4,450 miles], which is more than double what I did in my car.”
Incredibly it was Schoonbroodt’s 75th sub-three-hour marathon, and it came only four weeks after his 74th at the Rotterdam marathon. For good measure, the flying Dutchman also holds a number of ultra running records. He is clearly no ordinary Jo. But the secrets of his success might surprise you.
“Most runners train too hard. I do a lot of my training with groups who run very slowly. And then I build on these basics with some faster interval training. But I don’t do the same stupid distance 10 or 20 times – I prefer to have a lot of fun with my running.”
“A lot of people follow a training plan or coach and push on even when their body is saying: ‘No, this is not a good day to do it.’ But if you go out the door and just do what you feel, it’s easier to keep running and stay injury-free.” »
A ‘marathon’ is a long-distance foot race with a distance of 42.195 kilometres (or 26.2 miles).
For three years, his team tracked the blood pressure of 340,000 people in 2,000 spots around the U.S., adjusting for variables such as age and skin type. The results clearly showed that the reason people in sunnier climes have lower blood pressure is as simple as light hitting skin.
“Homo sapiens have been around for 200,000 years. Until the industrial revolution, we lived outside. How did we get through the Neolithic Era without sunscreen? Actually, perfectly well. What’s counterintuitive is that dermatologists run around saying, ‘Don’t go outside, you might die.’”
Vitamin D now looks like the tip of the solar iceberg. Sunlight triggers the release of a number of other important compounds in the body, not only nitric oxide but also serotonin and endorphins. It reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. It improves circadian rhythms. It reduces inflammation and dampens autoimmune responses. It improves virtually every mental condition you can think of. And it’s free.
This does not mean breaking out the baby oil or cultivating a burnished tan. All the experts agree that sunburns—especially those suffered during childhood and adolescence—are particularly bad. »
Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard Nutritional Psychiatrist and best selling author, avoids these five types of food as they contribute to feeling stressed and being tired.
1. Processed food
Baked goods and soda are high in sugar which “can lead to inflammation in the brain and may ultimately result in depression and fatigue.”
2. Industrial seed oils
Highly processed corn, grape seed, soybean, sunflower, and palm oils. “Studies have shown that people who consume foods high in omega-6 fatty acids are at higher risk of depression compared to those who consume foods high in omega-3s.” Dr. Naidoo suggests we” opt for anti-inflammatory alternatives like extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil when cooking. “
3. Added and refined sugars
“Refined sugars exacerbate inflammation and overwhelm the body with more sugar than it needs, which can create increased anxiety and unstable mood levels.” Instead, Dr. Naidoo suggests a handful of blueberries or a bit of extra dark chocolate when craving something sweet.
4. Fried Food
“Researchers found that people who consumed more fried foods were more likely to develop depression in their lifetime.”
5. Artificial sweeteners
“Several studies have demonstrated that artificial sweeteners can be toxic to the brain, altering concentrations of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.” Instead, consider using natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar.
More details and alternatives are available at CNBC »
In this powerful and courageous Ted Talk, Dr Lucy Hone offers us a profound insight on human suffering.
Dr Lucy Hone is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, a research associate at AUT University, a published academic researcher, best-selling author and contributor to Psychology Today, the Sunday Star Times and Next magazine.
She trained at the University of Pennsylvania and got her PhD in public health at AUT University in Auckland. She has helped a range of organisations—from primary schools to leading law firms—to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change.
Five years ago, the sudden death of Lucy’s 12-year-old daughter Abi forced Lucy to turn her academic training and professional practice to foster resilience in very personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death attracted international attention and resulted in the best-selling non-fiction title, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016), now available as Resilient Grieving in the US, UK and NZ. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
“These findings may indicate more attention to mental health is needed to fight cardiovascular disease, particularly for people with depression or chronic stress. In the next decades, new therapies for atherosclerosis should focus on altering immune responses, inhibiting inflammation and promoting pathways of plaque resolution. These therapies have great potential for benefiting people with cardiovascular disease, and likely particularly in those with depression,” Tufanli Kireccibasi said.